Alien Covenant: The xenomorph - a stripped-down killing machine : Breakthrough


 



a) Back engineering

They started working on paper, their first breakthrough came with a head that Bradley Simmons had sculpted.

Conor O'Sullivan photoshopped images of this and twisted it into the proportions of Giger's design, before he got Bradley to to sculpt another head based on this and Giger's design. 

Ridley immediately approved of the resulting effort, they took lots of photos of it and the scanned it before given to Colin Shulver as a digital model which he cleaned up on ZBrush, which he deconstructed, recreating it as separate parts: the inner skull, the dome and the teeth

 

Greg McKee working of the head used for the Bunraku puppet (Cinefex #153)

 


Odd Studios: #tbt to Alien Covenant. Adam Johansen @adman855 and Dominic Hailstone @dominic_hailstone_ blocking out the full scale Xenomorph suit. Creature effects by Odd Creatures, Odd Studio & Creatures Inc. #oddcreatures #oddstudio #creaturesinc #creatureeffects #aliencovenant #xenomorph #scifi #scifhorror #ridleyscott (source: https://www.facebook.com/oddstudiopl 8th August 2019)



b) Alien Kit

They also molded the sculpt and used the mold to create stunt heads. 

This thing could be said to have been broken down like a model kit, with all the different parts going off to be printed. 

While the skull, jaw and teeth were printed in nylon in Melbourne and the dome was sent to be printed in resin in the UK, mainly due to the ability of the print sizes, ( It's also known that some of the prints were used directly but most of them were moulded and then cast out in super light-weight resin,while the final carapace instance was clear gel coat and fibreglass resin.  (Someone might wonder if the the carapace and the dome ought to be the same thing. That's yet to be known)

Brought together they fitted perfectly. 

They molded the two to produce a core over which Bradley sculpted a skin as well as lightweight clear resin versions for the suits. 

Bradley's new sculpt was then modeled and produced in a combination of foam latex and silicon.



Odd Studios: Alien: Covenant. A WIP pic of our full scale Xeno chest sculpture. Combination of mediums- 3D sculpted/printed ribs, WED clay and medium Chavant clay. Sculptors Dominic Hailstone @dominic_hailstone_ Adam Johansen @adman855 and Colin Shulver. Creature effects by Odd Creatures- Odd Studio & Creatures Inc.(Source https://www.facebook.com/oddstudiopl/ 24th April 2019)


Odd Studios: Alien: Covenant. A WIP pic of our full scale Xeno chest sculpture. Combination of mediums- 3D sculpted/printed ribs, WED clay and medium Chavant clay. Sculptors Dominic Hailstone @dominic_hailstone_ Adam Johansen @adman855 and Colin Shulver. Creature effects by Odd Creatures- Odd Studio & Creatures Inc. (https://www.facebook.com/oddstudiopl/ 29th April 2019)




Odd Studios: "Alien: Covenant. The Xenomorph. The 
body sculpture of our suit version worn by Goran D. Kleut 
and sculpted by Andy Hunt @andy_hunt2000 and Colin Shulver
 Creature effects by Odd Creatures, Odd Studio & Creatures Inc. "
Source: https://www.facebook.com/oddstudiopl/ August 18, 2017 ·
  1. Arnold Goldman: Is this sculpted in our Monster Clay?
    Adam Johansen: WED clay Arnold. (Facebook
    https://www.facebook.com/oddstudiopl/ August 19, 2017 ·)






Odd Studios: "Alien: Covenant. Blocking out the 
big chap. Head sculpt by Bradley Simmons, body by 
Dominic Hailstone & Adam Johansen. Creature effects 
by Odd Creatures. Odd Studio and Creatures Inc "
(https://www.facebook.com/oddstudiopl/ September 20, 2017 )



Odd Studios: "Alien: Covenant. The Xenomorph production line.
Paint job by Damian Martin and Julian Ledger. Creature effects by ODD CREATURES
"

https://www.facebook.com/oddstudiopl/ August 30, 2017


  1. Conor O'Sullivan: Our first breakthrough came with a head that Bradley Simmons had sculpted. I photoshopped images of this twisting it into the proportions of Giger's design, and got Bradley to sculpt another head based on this and Giger's design. Ridley immediately approved of it. I then had the clay model scanned and Colin Shulver deconstructed this in Zbrush, splitting it into a skull, dome and jaw. We also molded the sculpt and used the mold to create stunt heads. The skull, jaw and teeth were printed in Nylon in Melbourne and the dome printed in Resin in the UK, mainly due to the ability of print sizes. When the two came together, they fitted perfectly. We molded the two to produce a core over which Bradley sculpted a skin as well as lightweight clear resin versions for the suits. Bradley's new sculpt was then molded and produced in a combination of foam latex and silicon. We made two different versions of the body. One was a puppeteered Bunraki type suit and the other was an actual suit. (Alien Covenant artbook)
  2. Adam Johansen: On this project we really experimented and embraced 3D printing. We had a lot of designs ZBrush modelled. However, most creatures did begin as clay sculptures. The Xenomorph head started as a sculpt that Bradley Simms did. Once Ridley liked that, we took a bunch of photos and scanned it and then Colin Shulver cleaned that up in ZBrush. Then we broke it down like a model kit, so the inner skull, jaw etc all went off and got printed. Some of the prints were used directly but most of them were moulded and then cast out in super light-weight resin. The carapace for instance was clear gel coat and fibreglass resin. The body was sculpted by Dominic Hailstone and myself. The ribcage was cast in urethanes. We went to foam latex for the arms, neoprene, lycra and things like that for the inner fabrications. And we had some silicon elements on the face, too. (https://vfxblog.com/2017/06/09/practical-creature-effects-alien-covenant/#jp-carousel-4982)
  3. Conor O'Sullivan: In our rush to get it done, we overlooked one practical aspect of the sculpt whereby the sculpted cheeks and lips of the creature were too loose when the mouth closed and looked too fleshy. We resculpted this area, Rob Trenton and Adam Johannson making new lips and muscle groups over about three days, with Adam artworking the finish until Ridley was satisfied . (Alien Covenant artbook)


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  1. "Alien Covenant: The xenomorph - a stripped-down killing machine : Breakthrough" was posted on July 31st 2021

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